A HOUSING company in York has signed up to help the city become more dementia friendly.

Yorkshire Housing’s York Independent Living Service has joined with Dementia Forward to help staff better understand the effects of dementia and gain a greater understanding of how they can play our part in supporting York to become a dementia friendly city.

About 30 per cent of the service’s customers have some form of dementia, which can cause loss of memory, confusion, problems with understanding and difficulty in carrying out every day tasks.

Samantha Jones, team leader, said: "The number of people with dementia is growing year on year and it is vital our team can effectively support people with the condition. The training has made a real difference – it has highlighted ways we can help customers with dementia to continue to live independently and has helped us support them with the symptoms they may be experiencing.

"We recently took over support for a lady with a dementia, the education has helped us tailor our support to meet her needs. For example we assist her with shopping and help with looking at dates on food and how to pay.

"Once home the Independent Living Officer labels the food and leaves a list for the coming days. There is a lot we can do to help customers with dementia continue to live independently including help with isolation, correspondence, benefit forms, liaison with other services and wellbeing checks."

Netty Newell from Dementia Forward said: “We take our hats off to all who have agreed to take time out to learn about dementia and to make positive changes. Often it’s the small changes that can have a huge impact to the lives of people living with dementia in our community. Joining the local alliance can be the first small step. Members are growing, but we still need more organisations to get involved."

To find out more about the Independent Living service in York phone Samantha Jones on 07848011260 or email samantha.jones@yorkshirehousing.co.uk

For more information about dementia support groups, go to dementiaaction.org.uk/local or email york@dementiaforward.org.uk

Taxi drivers look forward to specialist training

DEMENTIA sufferers will find it easier to travel around York thanks to specialist training undertaken by local taxi drivers.

Dementia Forward - a registered charity which provides a fully integrated service to people living with dementia – has run three free training sessions for drivers and staff at York’s Fleetways Taxis. The company has subsequently joined York Dementia Action Alliance.

Jim Love, Fleetways Company Secretary, said: “When we were asked to become involved with Dementia Forward the response from our drivers was unanimous in volunteering for training.

"Many drivers have friends and relatives who have suffered from this devastating illness plus, due to our contract with York Hospital, we often transport dementia sufferers. We were very pleased to offer our help and the training will be invaluable.”

City of York Council is supporting the national Dementia Friends initiative, launched by Public Health England and Alzheimer’s Society, which encourages people in York to become a Dementia Friend.

by watching a short interactive video online to increase their understanding of the disease and implementing their experience every day.